St James is very angry
Wednesday, August 8 2012
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Gift for Jack: Lt Governor of the State of Florida Jennifer Carroll, a Trinidadian by birth, presents a gift to Acting Prime Minister and Minister of ...
THE EDITOR: Questions to the powers that be – What has St James done to you?
What have our children, our elderly, our women, our young men, done to be rewarded with the imposition of a highway in the middle of our residential area?
Call it what you want, a road, a lane, a track, whatever, anytime you give Trinidadians four lanes of traffic heading in one direction it is a Highway. In fact, ours has the same number of lanes (more in certain areas) as the Churchill Roosevelt or the Butler Highway going in either direction.
St James does not deserve this (nor does Woodbrook but I am sure they can speak for themselves). We represent, after all, the ideal you say you strive for. Here you will find not only representatives of various races but many permutations as well. Further still, you can experience expressions of their culture in which everyone imbibes. St James is the place where people (even the bandits) come to recreate, to get something to eat, to get something to drink. Day or night. It is the place where people come from a variety of points to shop. We are the nation’s celebratory City. So why do you want to change it with the laying of this monstrosity?
Also, lest you believe we are against change, citizens in our community made valuable inputs into a TIDCO (now TDC) funded Traffic Plan which was conducted by a faculty of the University of the West Indies. There we called for some of our streets to be made one way. We also called for the placement of traffic lights in accident prone areas. So the world did not just start. But back to the questions.
What could cause you to remove humps laid in front of the Mucurapo Boys’ RC School after a six- year-old boy was knocked down by a speeding car. Why? So traffic could flow? What were you thinking? You have sat in your offices, planned(?) and in one fell swoop placed everyone’s lives at risk. Never in the history of this community have the residents been so united, so incensed, so vocal against anything. Never! We have done everything by the book:
We attended your “Consultations” which were, in effect, meetings to tell us what you had already planned to do. We explained to you some of the problems inherent in the Plan, about some of the traffic bottleneck that would occur.
We told you that it would not work but, you would not listen to the potential victims. You asked that it be given a chance. Some agreed hoping that you would move with the same alacrity (one day) that the then Minister of Works, Mr Jack Warner, moved when he realised the Plan was not working in Chaguanas.
After it took effect in St James, the community came together to give “voice” to what had befallen them.
The Meeting was an open one. An 88-year-old woman came to the mike to express her fears for herself and her grandchild.
This after receiving reports that two other elderly women had been hit after attempting to cross your four lane highway.
A young woman spoke about being robbed at gunpoint the morning after the imposition and this, while she plied her trade.
Two taxi drivers spoke. One about young women being assaulted because they had to wait “in the back” for maxis and taxis at night to take them to points east. Business owners spoke of having to lay off workers because of the dramatic reduction in sales. Indeed, some even spoke of closing down if this is not reversed within a foreseeable time. Scores were talking either about themselves, or others they knew, almost getting hit by speeding cars. With all of this, you aren’t listening.
Not to act would certainly cause people to die on your Highway. And their deaths would surely be on your hands.